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One DRO used on many machines?

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  • One DRO used on many machines?

    Has anyone successfully used one DRO on on several machine tools ? I have several machine tools and anticipate buying my first DRO . Must I install it and leave it on just one of my several machines? I figure there are good reasons this won't work because from my point of view it seems it would make so much sense

  • #2
    lalatheman:
    From a stability viewpoint this is a bad idea. When the spars are installed they should be installed with anti-vibration nuts and loctite - you do not want them moving around.

    You could move the head around from machine to machine, but this will take its toll on the connectors to the counter and the counter itself.

    So bite the bullet and intall it on the machine that is the biggest PITA (usually the mill). Some can do bolt circles (Bonus! - but you are gonna pay extra).

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    • #3
      I agree with Thrud. I have a DRO on the lathe and the mill. You can move the head around as stated but by the time you buy the extra scales you will have close to what a conplete unit would cost.
      Charlie
      Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.
      http://home.earthlink.net/~kcprecision/

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      • #4
        Consider the scales to be immobile. Take a look at some of the documentation at www.acu-rite.com; click on the "Dowload the ENC150 product manual" link on www.acu-rite.com/index.cfm?PageID=FF937A2F-1D35-11D5-BC6B00A0CC271CB6 and read the installation instructions, to get some idea of what's involved in installing them. I think you'll agree it's a one-time operation.

        Moving the display unit though...that's at least plausible, although in the long run I suspect you would find it's more trouble than it's worth in savings.
        ----------
        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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        • #5
          I have installed ten of these things. Have replaced two scales and three heads over the years as well in my shop.

          Installation of DRO's is not a fun thing unless you enjoy things like metal chips in your shoes, Parting off 6 Inch diameter Inconel with a 1/32 blade and such.

          To move one around would be something that would be timewise very ineffective, and as for wear and damage to the heads and scaled themselves would almost certainly cause issues within ten moves.

          My suggestion for you if you desire accuracy at a low price, and still wish a DRO.Lathe DRO's also often times have features on them that differ from MILL DRO's, but a mill DRO can be adapted, justy not the best application....

          1. Buy the DRO for the mill, and install it correctly.

          2. Buy two to four "Mighty Mag" magnetic indicator bases for the lathe, and put 2" travel indicators on them. These are mobile around the lathe as you can attach and remove, ad are probably better than a DRO for mosr HSM applications. I use these these things religiously, and find them to be great. I suggest two minimum, one for X and one for Z. These are cheap, you can often buy the base for about $15.00, and a cheapo indicator for about $30.00. Good 2" indocators will cost about $100.00 each. Sometimes these come in value deals with indicators like Techlock and SPI, and I have picked up 2 for $100.00 bases and 2" indicators included.

          Most HSM lathe applications are in the 2 inch ranges, but with minor adaptations and some hiking, you can adapt to any length.

          Just my ideas. I have got away fom installing more Lathe DRO's because I find the indicators better for my applications.

          CCBW, MAH

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          • #6
            Good points re: lathe DROs. I've never particularly felt the need of one, either. I have a 1" travel dial indicator on the ways to measure carriage travel, and I've always found that sufficient.

            One other thing about a lathe DRO: the cross slide, especially, needs to be a high precision unit. Unless it reads to a couple tenths or better, it's not going to be accurate enough. 0.0002" on the radius translates into 0.0004" on the diameter, and for precision fits you need at least that kind of accuracy. A DRO that reads to thousandths, or even half-thousandths, isn't good enough. But, as Steve says, get a dial indicator reading in ten-thousandths, put that on your cross slide, and you have the kind of accuracy you need, relatively cheaply. Lack of travel on the cross slide isn't a big deal -- you need accuracy only on the last couple of thou, anyway, when you're turning to finish diameter.
            ----------
            Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
            Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
            Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
            There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
            Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
            Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

            Comment

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